Friday, August 01, 2008

An Inconvenient Rape

In the July 31, 2008, Gazette, John Newsome touts his “record as district attorney and the great things we’ve done.” Newsome goes on to talk about his new programs; among them are the “special victims unit, which handles prosecutions of sex offenders, more emphasis on economic crimes by using racketeering laws to bring down identity theft rings and attempting to stem the flow of methamphetamines from Mexico.”

Newsome points to “the support of local law enforcement, including the Colorado Springs Police Protective Association, El Paso County sheriff and the Teller County sheriff as one of his biggest strengths.”

One of our chief complaints about the District Attorney’s office is the inconvenient rape his office failed to prosecute (see the details here). When a 19 year old female alleged that Orgill sexually assaulted her (after Orgill had been given a four year deferred sentence and he was the prosecution’s star witness against Todd), she was charged with false reporting (after the trial and before Todd’s sentencing and only after the court ordered the prosecution to release this information that they failed to release before Todd’s trial). In fact, Newsome’s deputies Lindsey and Rikeman vouched for Orgill’s character in court. A policeman with the Colorado Springs Police Department assisted Orgill and his attorney with placing a pretext telephone call to this young person (Brad’s second alleged sexual assault victim). Just months before Orgill’s bloody fight with Anthony Madril, Orgill was approached by the Colorado Springs Police for purchasing child pornography online with his credit card; however, the investigation never proceeded beyond having the police come to his house to ask him questions, it just “went away”.

Having the “support of the Colorado Springs Protective Association” may indeed be helpful to Newsome, especially if it allows an economic crime of a friend to go through months of “investigation” without a recommendation to prosecute. In this case, the prosecutor’s office and police department might better be described as being in collusion. This relationship is also useful if the prosecutor himself along with his second-in- command are breaking the law and are not held accountable. The “support” of the local police and sheriff are only positive to the community if the integrity of all is intact. If, however, evidence is altered, victims are further victimized and criminals are protected from prosecution in order to protect those in power or because of relationships with those in power, there is a real problem with the system. Such a system might be described as developing tunnel vision/confirmation bias; at worst it is a system that is corrupt and views “justice” as something capriciously administered or denied at the whim of the district attorney’s office.

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